India set to get operational control of Iran’s Chabahar port for 18 months

Other agreements include double taxation avoidance treaty, extradition

Reuters February 18, 2018
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) during a photo opportunity ahead of their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, February 17, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI: India and Iran signed on Saturday agreements including Tehran leasing to New Delhi operational control of part of the Iranian east coast port of Chabahar for 18 months.

The US$85 million project, just 90 km from the Gwadar port, creates a transit route between India, Iran and Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan.


Tehran won't allow India to use Chabahar port to undermine Pakistan, say Iranian diplomats


India is trying to develop Chabahar as a way to gain access to the markets of central Asia as well as Afghanistan. But progress is slow because of concern that President Donald Trump’s administration in Washington may eventually scrap the Iran nuclear deal.


A leasing agreement giving operational control to India of Shahid Beheshti port - phase one of the Chabahar port - was signed in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.


Later, addressing a joint press conference with the Iranian president, Modi said both countries wanted to expand bilateral ties and cooperation in economic development.


“We will support the construction of the Chabahar-Zahedan rail link so that Chabahar gateway’s potential could be fully utilized,” Modi said. “We want to expand connectivity, cooperation in the energy sector and the centuries-old bilateral relationship.”


Other agreements included a double taxation avoidance treaty, extradition, and cooperation in the farm sector.


Rouhani, who arrived in the southern city of Hyderabad on Thursday, will later address industrialists.


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COMMENTS (3)

Raj - USA | 2 years ago | Reply | Recommend Until recently, Afghanistan wasPakistan's 2nd largest export worth $4 billion and is second only to its export market to USA. India has already seized significant portion of this market. India recently exported 1.1 million tons of wheat to Afghanistan via Chabahar port.
cautious | 2 years ago | Reply | Recommend USA will likely give the OK for Chabahar deal so long as the primary beneficiary is Afghanistan.
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